Ira Winderman: Pat Riley's Heat vision proving (almost) crystal clear

By Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

So here we are, having come full circle through the calendar within the confines of a single season, Pat Riley addressing the media on the eve of training camp on Sept. 27, 2019 about what might follow, with the Miami Heat still with unfinished business a year later.

Looking back, Riley, as is typical, largely (but not completely) proved prescient about these intervening 12 months that have delivered the Heat to this stage.

So what did Riley say then? And how does it reflect now?


Then: He took Justise Winslow to task for proclaiming himself as the Heat's successor at point guard.

"I just think he put that onto himself, unbeknownst that there is an All-Star that we have at that position," Riley said.


Now: Goran Dragic returned to his All-Star form, albeit as a reserve during the regular season, now arguably as essential as any player in the Heat playoff rotation.

As for Winslow, the preoccupation with being a leading man eventually rubbed too many the wrong way. That, and an ongoing injury history, contributed to his midseason trade to the Memphis Grizzlies.


Then: Riley said 2019-20 could turn into a Heat season of redemption for James Johnson and Dion Waiters, after nothing but injuries and unmet expectations.


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